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Public Works Blog- Down the Drain

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Down the Drain?


Have you ever thought to yourself after flushing old prescriptions down the toilet, or after rinsing out a used household cleansing bottle in the kitchen sink, that there is probably a safer way of getting rid of these items?  Or what about where the run-off soapy and grimy water goes when you wash your car in the driveway?  Have you ever used hot water from your kitchen sink to rinse off residual food and grease from the dinner plates and cooking pots before you load up the dishwasher?  Well now think about this, all of these chemicals, pollutants, solid materials, grease agents and drain cloggers all run through our sewer system and eventually to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, usually not before doing damage to our sewer system along the way.  And some of these pollutants are so destructive and intrusive that even the advanced technologies we utilize at the Treatment Plant can’t remove all traces of them.  The reason this is so important to every citizen that lives in Meridian is that the water eventually is discharged back the Boise River, one of Idaho’s most precious resources.


Please take the time to learn about the following services and ways that we all can use to help keep our community environmentally safe for all.


FREE Household Hazardous Water Collection at SSC
Household Hazardous Waste consists of items such as pesticides, cleaning supplies, paint and solvents, used motor oils, antifreeze and old gasoline.  Products labeled Danger, Warning, or Caution all contain hazardous chemicals and should NEVER to be put into the City sewer lines!  Meridian residents can drop off any household hazardous waste items free of charge every Monday between 12 noon and 7:00 p.m. at the Sanitary Services Company parking lot, located at 2130 W. Franklin Road.  However, please DO NOT leave any items if SSC personnel isn’t there to assist you.  For more info call 888-3901.



Other examples of items that can be dropped off:

Household Cleaners  Fluorescent Light Tubes/Bulbs
Batteries-household & auto  Pool/Spa Chemicals
Television Sets Computer Monitors
Mercury Fever Thermometers 
Lawn & Garden Chemicals Aerosols
Insecticides  Pesticides
Old Paint 

Wood Stains

Paint Thinners Solvents
Old Gasoline  Antifreeze

Fats, Oils & Grease Disposal
Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) are major culprits in clogging up kitchen drains and causing sewer line back-ups.  Do not rinse off food scraps and grease from plates, pots and pans using hot water and flush down your kitchen drain.  When FOG buildup reaches a point that sewer pipes become clogged, raw sewage can back-up to city streets, parking lots, nearby homes and commercial businesses.  Commercial grease is not allowed to be disposed at the local landfill site.  This grease must be transported to a special landfill location.  Residential cooking grease is allowed to be disposed at the local landfill if properly contained in a spill proof container.  Here are the proper ways to dispose of these items:
• Scrape all food scraps and grease solids into the garbage.
• Collect excess frying grease in a separate container for proper disposal.

For additional information, please contact Steve Maneck, Pretreatment Program Manager at (208) 888-2191 or smaneck@meridiancity.org


Storm Water System Care
The storm water system and sewer collection systems are NOT connected.  Water from your home drains and toilets is collected by the sewer collection system, treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and then discharged by the City into the 5 Mile Creek/Boise River.  Storm or run-off water is simply channeled through the storm water system and discharged to our local watershed with NO treatment for pollutants or dangerous contaminants.  Only you can prevent pollutants from entering our water supply.  Here are some ways you can do your part:
• Recycle used motor oils & antifreeze; prevent vehicle leaks from driveways & street storm water drains.
• When washing your vehicle at home, Uuse non-phosphorus soaps or direct the soap suds onto your lawn instead of down your driveway & into the gutters.  Or better yet, take your vehicle to a commercial car wash, which is connected to the City sewer system.
• Put litter, grass clippings and pet waste into the trash; never rinse them into the storm drains.
• Use only as much fertilizer and pesticide as you need, any excess will run off into the storm drains.


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